As a young child my mother used to read my sister and I bedtime stories, but we soon tired of the usual guff. Fantastical accounts full of colourful characters, following their highly predictable journeys, and inevitable encounters with two-dimensional villains. Back then, children’s publishing was for the most part tat, with more pictures than words, simple tales for small folk. So she tried Dickens, and for a while we were satisfied, the plots appeared slightly more involved, and the antagonists somewhat believable. But then, by say three or four years old, we asked if she’d read us the paperback by her bed. It was a horror novel, one of the mainstays. Although I cannot recall which, perhaps something along the lines of James Herbert’s The Rats.
For some strange reason neither of us were scared by what we’d heard, it was as if we’d arrived on Earth fully prepared for the worst. Where nowadays you’ll find news footage far more terrifying than any imagined horrors, for the future isn’t sci-fi, it’s the conjured fears of yesteryear reaching their obvious conclusions.
What I find strange about fiction, which after all is pure imagination, is how many writers fixate on the process of killing and dying, but only up to the moment of death. The shocking truth is that few on this Earth have any idea how far the story goes, unless you’re in the habit of talking to the dead. But each and every one of us will upon our demise, witness the gross collectivism of a living past. A race of lost souls traipsing in circles in the mire of an ethereal reality.
A place outside the remit of time and space, where the dimensional rift of the dark universe, the deep waters of consciousness without form, can mutate beyond recognition. A psychic phenomena where mutation remains unbound by the limitations of physicality, unable to fall back on the humanity’s equilibrium.
There is no science or religion beyond mortality, there really is no need to keep up the illusion. For those who subsist in the spectrum of light beyond our narrow perceptual field, have witnessed such horrors and delights, that had they been alive, the mere experience would have sent them to an early grave.
The horror is the awful truth, that the human race is little more than the inkling of an idea, as fragile as a flower, and brief as the setting sun. We are near to nothing in the scale of life, we come and go like insects, buzzing around a veritable Eden. There’s no true horror here on Earth, for we know from past mistakes what’s coming next. Only more pointless suffering, futile sacrifice and torture, and the constant threat of imminent pain, before our inevitable demise before the looming spectre of our own mortality. Don’t worry about death, it’s the process of dying that kills the spirit. The demeaning wretched subsistence of ageing, the gradual degradation of bodily functions, and those last few years spent in dotage, watching the world go by as we reminisce our regrets.
When you get there, to the other side, ignore the tunnel of light. Make your own, it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up a candle or a torch. Take as long as you need to acclimatise, you have all the time in the universe. When you die, be bold and cross the very limits of human imagination. For without a body or a mind, there is no pain, but your own conjured fears. Because the horror was only ever in your head.